Civil Partnerships for All in Scotland

"unique, special and personal moment" was how Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan described registration of their civil partnership at the turn of 2020. Scottish couples will soon be able to follow their lead, as Scotland allows mixed sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.

Rebecca and Charles were one of the first couples in England & Wales to celebrate their mixed sex civil partnership, after having campaigned for a change to the law for many years. They first tried to register their intention to enter into a civil partnership, rather than a marriage, in 2014.

At that stage civil partnerships were only available to same sex couples. They raised court proceedings saying that they were being discriminated against. Following a lengthy legal battle, concluding in the UK Supreme Court, the UK government passed legislation giving all couples in England & Wales- gay and straight- the choice of opting for a marriage or a civil partnership.  

The Scottish government has now followed suit with the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act having been passed by the Scottish Parliament in June and receiving Royal Assent last week. The secondary legislation which will need to be put in place to deal with the practicalities of the new law are being dealt with now, and it is anticipated that the first mixed sex civil partnerships will take place later this year. That is, of course, Covid-19 regulations permitting.